Sorry to do this, but effective immediately, the "Free Shipping" option is no more. We will still pay for all current outstanding orders that were entitled to free shipping.
Even though we do business with DHL Japan and FedEx Japan, they still charge us the USD equivalent for shipping - and because the yen is at an all-time low, shipping costs have been increasing so much that, at times, it can make up more than 10% of an order.
I wanted to remove the free shipping option last year and held out for as long as we could, but free shipping is not sustainable anymore.
Since the pandemic started, we switched to courier shipping but kept shipping fees the same. We did raise the free shipping hurdle, but we continued to pay for shipping at rates much higher than EMS.
The "Free shipping" option didn't mean that DHL or FedEx liked us enough to pay for the shipping - it meant that we paid for the shipping - and we had been providing free shipping for eligible orders since 2014 - but 8 years on - it's not working out anymore.
The couriers also charge us a "fuel surcharge" on top of the shipping we pay (as shown in the photos) - and the situation in Europe has further increased costs.
We have kept the price point the same for our Smart Dolls for many years, even during constant cost increases. However, I want to continue maintaining the same price point, so to facilitate this, I made the decision to remove free shipping to keep our business sustainable.
I could switch shipping to EMS, but not only does EMS take much longer, but there is also no sense of security when shipping with EMS - it was always a case of passing the parcels to the Japan Post guy and hoping for the best. Granted that EMS did serve us well for many years, but shipping with a courier service means that, at times, a parcel can arrive in the US the next day!
I understand that removing free shipping may mean less frequent purchases (or even folks deciding not to buy at all), but this is a decision I have not taken lightly.
Not that this should concern any consumer, but I thought I would mention that the 4% payment processing fees, 10% shipping, and 30% corporate tax can mean that nearly half of the product's price goes to other organizations' pockets - the reality of running a business. I still choose the Red Pill though ;-)
I have created a page that lists all the shipping fees.